ERIC Number: ED456144
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
Educational Testing as a Technology. NBETPP Statements, Volume 2, Number 1.
Madaus, George F.
The term "technology" often conjures up visions of scientific experiments and industrial processes, but technology is also a tool, something put together to satisfy a need, solve a problem, or attain a goal in social, economic, and educational institutions. In a broader sense, technology is any body of special knowledge, skills, and procedures, and in this sense, testing is clearly technology, embedded in such systems as education, government, and business. Testing has "hardware" and a community of practitioners. It is generally regarded as fundamentally neutral in moral standing, but the use of testing in a particular context determines its moral standing. In addition to the proposition that testing is a technology, two additional characteristics of technologies must be considered by the National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy: the fact that technological concerns tend to be directed by elites isolated from those who are not members of the elites and the fact that technological endeavor is firmly associated with a "religion of progress." Consideration of these issues supports the view that tests are a technology with a well-developed technological community and technical underpinnings arcane to lay people. Testing is a complex technological system with its own infrastructure that must be understood. (Contains 30 endnotes.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Educational Technology, Educational Testing, Elementary Secondary Education, Standardized Tests, Technological Advancement, Test Use
For full text: http://www.nbetpp.bc.edu.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy, Chestnut Hill, MA.